Keep Me In Your Heart for Awhile: The Haunting Zen of Dainin Katagiri

Here’s the catalog description (draft, I believe) for my book that explains the title.

After my death I will come back and haunt over you, checking your practice.” Katagiri Roshi, one of the great pioneers of Zen in America, said this frequently, often teasing Dosho Port and his fellow students at the Minnesota Zen Center. For Dosho, Katagiri Roshi’s “haunting” still includes, to borrow a phrase from Warren Zevon, “keeping him in my heart for a while”—continuing to intimately explore the indelible imprint that a Zen teacher leaves on his student’s heart. Katagiri’s teaching was at once powerful, gentle, and sometimes almost even casual. For Dosho Port, some of the richest teachings came in these simple, casual moments during everyday interactions. The structure of this book is built around a series of such vivid truth-happening places, evocative of the ancient koans of the Zen tradition. Each chapter starts with an encounter with Katagiri and unfolds from there, touching on such topics as the nature and purpose of Zen, the dynamic and working of realization, and, of course, the functioning of the teacher-student relationship.

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